West Aurora Unit District 129 board approves new executive directors

Superintendent Dr. Jeff Craig and West Aurora Unit District 129’s board of education recently announced the appointment of two new executive directors. The appointments were approved during the regular board meeting on Jan. 8, 2024.

The first appointment is Ron Murphy, who will assume the role of executive director of human resources beginning the 2024-25 school year. Until that time, Murphy will remain in his current position as assistant principal of operations at West Aurora High School.

Murphy has served in his current capacity for nearly nine years. In addition to being responsible for building and grounds, Murphy manages the building budget, creates the master schedule, develops the staffing plan, and conducts teacher evaluations. He has also played an integral role on the administration negotiation team during the collective bargaining process with several employee unions.

Prior to his time as assistant principal, Murphy spent one year as assistant athletic director at West High. While in that role, he was responsible for scheduling contests, managing large events, as well as evaluating and mentoring head coaches. Murphy spent one year in a similar position when he worked as York High School’s athletic director during the 2013-14 school year.

Beginning his educational career at Oswego East High School in 2005, Murphy served as a basketball and football coach, social studies teacher, and later assistant athletic director.

Murphy holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from Northern Illinois University and a Master of Arts in educational administration from National Louis University.

“I am grateful to both the district leadership team and the Board of Education for the opportunity to serve in this new role,” Murphy shared. “I look forward to continuing to serve the students, families, and staff of School District 129 in a new capacity.”

Lisa Rausch will serve as executive director of student support programs beginning the 2024-25 school year. Courtesy of West Aurora Unit District 129

The second appointment is Lisa Rausch, who will serve as executive director of student support programs beginning the 2024-25 school year. In this new position, Rausch will play a critical role in ensuring that every student, including multilanguage learners, special education students, and those enrolled in alternative programs, has equitable access to a high-quality education and support services that foster both academic and personal success.

Currently, Rausch serves as the assistant director of special education for District 129, a role she has held for nearly 10 years. Until her time in the new role, she will continue her work in supporting special education programming across the 10 elementary buildings.

Rausch’s long tenure with District 129 also includes having spent fourteen years as a school psychologist at various elementary and secondary schools in-district. One of her primary responsibilities as a school psychologist was the design, implementation, and monitoring of student academic and behavioral interventions. Some of her additional leadership responsibilities have included serving as the district’s school psychologist department chair and an adjunct faculty member at Aurora University.

Rausch holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Purdue University and a Master of Science in school psychology from Miami University.

“School District 129 has been my home for nearly 24 years, and I am honored to take on this exciting new role,” stated Rausch. “I look forward to partnering with staff and administration across the district to improve outcomes for all students.”

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